North Carolina Soils Vary in How They Affect Foundations

Learning about a regions soils helps us understand foundation stability issues.

North Carolina’s Regions from the shore to the mountains each have their own soil conditions.

There are several main areas:

  • Tidewater,
  • Inner Coastal Plain,
  • Piedmont, (where Brackett Foundation Repair is located), and
  • Mountains (or Blue Ridge).

The Tidewater region is often considered part of the Coastal Plain giving NC three main geological regions.

This wetlands map of North Carolina shows that about 1/3 of the state is wetlands, from the Tidewater area stretching into the Inner Coastal Plain. Building homes and commercial structures in sandy wetland areas has its own soil stability challenges, including issues with flooding.

While it’s hard to find contemporary views of soil surveys, as an old state, North Carolina has historic records of soil surveys by county starting in the 1800s going through the 20th century.

North Carolina has 100 counties. To find out which region your county is in, you can view this this map of  North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Another resources is this Geological Survey map showing the different geologic formations across the NC state. While many of the terms are specialized, it’s easy to see how much of the eastern part of the state is sandy, and the southern most parts of the state have more clay.

North Carolina is known for its clays. It is famous for its potters who mostly use native clays for their pottery. While clay is good for pottery and brick making, it does cause soil instability because it contracts and expands with varying levels of water content.

Know about the soil stability of the land where you’re considering buying or building a house.

Ben Brackett, President of Brackett